By Wendy Marx

LinkedIn has become the preeminent platform for professionals.

What started as a simple networking and job search tool has blossomed into an essential resource for communicators of all stripes. We now use LinkedIn for research, advertising, marketing, PR, content sharing and career advancement—with excellent results.

Here are 10 tips to maximize your LinkedIn presence:

1. Fortify your profile.

Your profile is a welcome mat for your LinkedIn account—and you’ll be judged accordingly.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Take time to write a compelling summary of your business.
  • Include your organization’s logo so people know they’re in the right place.
  • Use keywords that will make your page easy to find.
  • Reply as soon as possible to comments and questions from your audience.
  • Post career opportunities to your organization’s profile.
  • List your most important products and services.
  • Ask for reviews and testimonials.
  • Update the copy on your profile page regularly, and be sure to keep it warm and conversational.

2. Focus on education.

LinkedIn’s platform makes it easy to publish your own articles, though it’s not the time nor place to promote your organization or sell your products. The most successful content on LinkedIn is educational in nature.

Answer common questions that arise in your industry. Address problems and concerns that your audience faces on a regular basis. The main purpose of your content should be to help your readers.

Take Hubspot as an example. The organization has gained massive popularity among marketers, thanks in large part to its strong base of educational, practical, helpful content.

This kind of educational content works to build your brand’s credibility, and it’s a great way to forge meaningful connections with potential customers.

3. Include visuals.

Studies have shown that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and that content with visuals gets 94 percent more views than content without.

LinkedIn is no different. Articles with images, charts, and other visuals are more appealing than those without. Visuals make it easier to digest information and remember it.

Just make sure your visuals are professional, relevant and compelling.

4. Create videos.

Use video on LinkedIn to:

  • Humanize and personalize your organization
  • Address frequently asked questions
  • Interview a leading industry figure
  • Highlight customer testimonials
  • Demonstrate how your product or service works

If you don’t have videography in the budget, try these three resources:

Take the following example from Dennis Koutoudis, a renowned LinkedIn expert and public speaker. Rather than simply touting his status as a “keynote speaker,” he provides a video example of one of his speeches right at the end of his summary.

5. Publish consistently.

Stale content is a turnoff. Aim to publish content once or twice per week to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.

Find a specific niche that relates to your business, and block off time to publish about your go-to topic(s) regularly.

6. Tag strategically.

Tagging certain words, phrases, organizations or people can draw attention to your posts and help you reach new audiences. Don’t overdo it, though.

To tag someone, simply place the “@” symbol in front of the person’s name. This will notify them and place your content in their news feed. (You don’t have to be “connected” to people to tag them.)

If you quote or mention an influential person in your content, tag him or her. He or she may repost your content.

Note: The tagging feature works only if you’re sharing or posting a comment. It doesn’t work on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform.

7. Ask your employees to participate.

Encouraging your team to post on LinkedIn can expand your organization’s reach, and it can benefit your workers, too.

Equip your staffers with talking points, guidelines or suggestions on how they can increase their own influence and authority. What’s good for them is good for you.

8. Use LinkedIn ads.

LinkedIn offers a few options for paid ads, depending on your requirements. These include:

  • Sponsored content, which amplifies content you’ve already created by placing it in front of your target audience.
  • Text ads, which can appear on the LinkedIn homepage, profile pages, search results pages or Groups pages. You can pay per click.
  • Sponsored InMail, which allows you to send personalized ads within your target audience’s inbox.

9. Create a group.

Establishing a new LinkedIn group can be an effective way to forge new connections and build credibility. However, if your industry is already saturated with LinkedIn groups, then consider becoming an active part of an existing group.

10. Monitor analytics, and pivot accordingly.

On your organization’s page, you should see a tab that says “Analytics.” Use this section to see how your content is doing and where you can improve.

Be sure to track these metrics:

  • Visitors. This data would include pageviews, impressions, clicks and new followers.
  • Engagement. When you see that your audience responds to certain topics or types of content more than others, you can shift strategies accordingly.
  • Follower demographics. This is the makeup of your audience.
  • Competitor comparison. See how your metrics compare with similar organizations.

For more robust analytics, companies such as Hootsuite can provide a more comprehensive report on your LinkedIn progress.

However you do it, keep a close eye on key metrics and be mindful of your audience’s preferences. That’s the key to success on any social media platform.

A version of this post first appeared on the Marx Communications B2B PR Sense Blog.

(Image via)

By Wendy Marx

Sourced from Ragan’s PR Daily